Recorded in Nashville and Prague, Shuttle to Bethlehem is Druha Trava´s first ever recording whose main focus is definitive English versions of singer-songwriter Robert Krestan´s iconic songs. Ranging from the intensely intimate to the anthemic, they evoke love and longing, death and desire as they tell strange tales and recount # haunting new legends. The translations are fruit of a collaboration between Krestan and the award-winning American writer Ruth Ellen Gruber.
Shuttle to Bethlehem includes seven of Druha Trava´s best-known tracks. Added to them are new Czech versions of two of the Bob Dylan songs on DT´s 2007 Dylanovky CD, as well as a bluegrassy take on the Rolling Stones´ "Jumpin´ Jack Flash" and a Celtic-inspired instrumental, "May Morning Dew/Tribute to Peadar O´Donnell," featuring Lubos Malina on low whistle.
ROBERT KRESTAN: Singer, songwriter, mandolin
LUBOS MALINA: Banjo, whistles
LUBOS NOVOTY: Dobro, pedal steel guitar
EMIL FORMANEK: Acoustic and electric guitar
TOMAS LISKA: Bass
DAVID LANDSTOF: drums, percussion
TODD LOMBARDO: mandolin (Jumpin´ Jack Flash)
PEPA MALINA: fiddle
KAMIL SLEZAK: cajon, percussion (May Morning Dew/Tribute to Peadar O´Donnell)
ABOUT THE BAND
Famed on both sides of the Atlantic for its "Czechgrass" fusion of acoustic, bluegrass, folk and rock, Druha Trava is the foremost band to emerge from the flourishing Czech bluegrass scene. Its virtuoso musicians can satisfy the most hardcore fans with scorching versions of traditional bluegrass standards. But as the band´s name "Second Grass" implies, DT reaches far beyond the classic bluegrass genre for inspiration. The band uses American roots music as a starting point for a synthesis of jazz, pop, folk and even classical motifs, transforming an iconic American idiom into a richly textured, highly personal statement.
DT was formed in 1991 by the influential singer-songwriter Robert Krestan, multi-instrumentalist Lubos Malina and other veterans of the acoustic music scene that had long thrived in Czechoslovakia. Krestan´s original songs -- renowned for their enigmatic, at times provocative, lyrics -- make up most of the band´s repertoire, and they and Krestan´s raw, gritty vocals set the band apart.
But DT also performs bluegrass standards and covers -- in English and Czech -- of material by songwriters ranging from Mick Jagger to American acoustic veteran Peter Rowan (with whom the group collaborated on a CD, New Freedom Bell, in 1999). The group´s 2007 album, Dylanovky, featured Krestan´s Czech versions of Bob Dylan songs.
Druha Trava and is members have produced more than a score of CDs and have won numerous Czech music awards. The band enjoys a wide following in the Czech Republic as well as a loyal fan base in North America, where DT tours for at least one month each year.
Robert Krestan: Singer, songwriter, mandolin
Lubos Malina: Banjo, whistles
Lubos Novoty: Dobro, pedal steel guitar
Emil Formanek: Acoustic and electric guitar
Tomas Liska: Bass
Listen to Robert Krestan [and the music of Druha Trava] during a guest appearance on an Olomouc, Czech Republic radio show.more
Druha Trava is a wonderfully individual band from the Czech Republic that is hard to describe.
They perform new acoustic world music with bluegrass influences. You might hear them perform a bluegrass tune, Bob Dylan tune or one by another American or British artist, or one of their many originals.
Though they basically use a typical bluegrass complement of instruments, you might see the banjo player also pick up a clarinet or Irish whistle. This along with the versatility of the dobro player helps create much of their unique sound. The Bluegrass Association of the Czech Republic declared Druha Trava "Group of the Year" in both 2005 and 2006.